Dr Strange 2: In the Multiverse of Madness (Spoilers)

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
The difference is that there's no sign the Purple Man had any ability to recognize he'd done anything wrong, which was clearly not the case with Wanda. Wanda, to the degree she harmed people, did it with no real intent; the Purple Man did it not only without concern, but often maliciously.

If people are gonna make analogies here, you need to at least compare like to like.
in WandaVision we get the scene where Wanda comes out of the Hex and tells SWORD to leave her “and her family” alone and later we get the scene where she Purposefully expands the Hex turning the SWORD camp into a circus - that told me that Wanda is aware that She controls the Hex and the town-illusion, but She deludes herself into living in her fantasy. She may not have been malicious but she did make a choice to cause harm to its residents.
 
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MarkB

Legend
in WandaVision we get the scene where Wanda comes out of the Hex and tells SWORD to leave her “and her family” alone and later we get the scene where she Purposefully expands the Hex turning the SWORD camp into a circus - that told me that Wanda is aware that the She controls the Hex and the town-illusion, but She deludes herself into living in her fantasy. She may not have been malicious but she did make a choice to cause harm to its residents.
The timings are awkward in the show. Early on, she seems to have little comprehension of what she's actually doing. Later she does, but by that time she has her kids, and the stakes are thus much higher for her. She could release the town, but doing so would kill Vision and her children. Managing to come to the point where she can consciously make that choice and lose her family all over again in order to free the townspeople from her control is a heroic choice, even if everything that had brought her to that point was terrible.
 

in WandaVision we get the scene where Wanda comes out of the Hex and tells SWORD to leave her “and her family” alone and later we get the scene where she Purposefully expands the Hex turning the SWORD camp into a circus - that told me that Wanda is aware that She controls the Hex and the town-illusion, but She deludes herself into living in her fantasy. She may not have been malicious but she did make a choice to cause harm to its residents.

As MarkB says above, deciding to, essentially, destroy her family sets the stakes of that much higher than you're ascribing. And honestly, its not even clear to me that at the point she confronts SWORD that she's fully cognizant of what she's doing. She knows they're threatening her and her family, but has she internalized what that means in terms of the other townspeople? Does she even know that the latter are any more real than her family? I don't think that's clear from context.
 

Eric V

Hero
Wanda is not a hero in Wandavision. She's not even heroic; merely stopping the torture that one has begun is not heroic (or else, the bar is pretty low).

Talk of her sacrifice seems silly, since her kids weren't real. She sacrificed a delusion.

Agatha might be helping people, but she's not heroic either. She's looking out for herself.

I read the scenario where Wanda exits the hex and threatens SWORD the same mostly the way @Tonguez does, though I might frame it as "She controls the hex, makes the choice to live her delusion and not care about any possible effects on the townsfolk." This is to allow for the possibility that she doesn't know the torture she's inflicting...but in the end, it doesn't matter. Even if the people aren't suffering, per se, they are still marionettes in Wanda's fantasy, she is absconding with their agency, and this is still incredibly bad.

There were no heroes in the show. And that's fine...except I think the writers did Wanda dirty, myself. Would have been nice to see her in a more heroic light.
 

Staffan

Legend
I get the impression that at the start of Wandavision, Wanda is disassociating. Wanda is entirely subsumed into the sitcom role she has created for herself along with the Vision. She is not consciously aware of what she is doing. The ad breaks and the "moments of weirdness" are symptoms of her coming to terms with things, and by episode 3 sitcom-Wanda is essentially a mask worn by real-Wanda, who is now at least situationally aware of the situation – enough to recognize threats and deal with them (like recognizing that "Geraldine" is a SWORD agent and violently expelling her).
 

BrokenTwin

Biological Disaster
I find it funny that in Wandavision the person with the cruelest objective (Agatha trying to steal Wanda's powers) is also the one that does the most "good". Without her forcing Wanda to confront her trauma and acknowledge what she was doing, it's possible Wanda never would have had the strength to overcome her addiction to her "perfect world" and bring down the hex. SWORD was a bunch of "ends justify the means" meatheads completely out of their depth, and Wanda was a multi-trauma victim in the middle of a psychotic break. Who, I might add, STILL arguably handled things better than Hawkeye did. I'm really annoyed that they made Agatha generic evil instead of leaning into her being a "cruel to be kind" mentor for Wanda.

And I still have a hard time reconciling the Wanda at the end of Wandavision with the Wanda we get in MoM. Like, I can see the connective tissue they're working with, but it's kinda trash that the character who has to repeatedly resort to bad options to handle her trauma (and getting punished for it) gets taken out by the character who frequently resorts to bad options because he can (and never gets more than a finger wagging).
MoM could have been a really interesting look at the reasons people grab for power and the way your privileges affect it (a man who came from everything and is given plenty of leeway for his actions vs a woman who came from nothing and is frequently chastised for hers).
Wanda bewitched the people she blamed for killing her family, accidentally caused collateral damage in a fight and unconsiously enslaved a town. Two of those three she was under the command of people she trusted (a father figure in Ultron and her newfound family in the Avengers). Steven knowingly risked the destruction of reality twice, once for a justifiable reason (Dormammu) and once because someone he kind of knew couldn't handle being a public figure (Spider Man). MoM could have been a really nuanced look at the two of them as mirrors and foils to each other, and it just... wasn't.

Also, I'm just really upset that this means there's absolutely no 616 version of her kids for a Young Avengers movie. I want my Wiccan/Hulkling romance in live action!
 

Wanda is not a hero in Wandavision. She's not even heroic; merely stopping the torture that one has begun is not heroic (or else, the bar is pretty low).

Talk of her sacrifice seems silly, since her kids weren't real. She sacrificed a delusion.

I'm not sure how true that is. These weren't just delusions; they were constructs of chaos magic. They were clearly dependent on it, too. But there's very little sign they were just puppets. There's literally no way to tell. But I find it suspect that they exactly match the children other versions of her in other worlds have. That suggests to me that they're could-have-beens given life by her magic.

But if being a construct makes them irrelevant, why does anyone care about Vision-the-android either? He was a construct too, and though he had a physical existance separate from it, was dependent on the power of the Mind Stone to exist--and the White Vision appears to be fueled partly off her magic.

So what "real" is here is not cut and dried, and it clearly wasn't to her.

I read the scenario where Wanda exits the hex and threatens SWORD the same mostly the way @Tonguez does, though I might frame it as "She controls the hex, makes the choice to live her delusion and not care about any possible effects on the townsfolk." This is to allow for the possibility that she doesn't know the torture she's inflicting...but in the end, it doesn't matter. Even if the people aren't suffering, per se, they are still marionettes in Wanda's fantasy, she is absconding with their agency, and this is still incredibly bad.

Again, assuming she really understands that's what's going on at that point. I'm unconvinced from context that she does, until later in the process.

There were no heroes in the show. And that's fine...except I think the writers did Wanda dirty, myself. Would have been nice to see her in a more heroic light.

Again, I'm not saying she was a hero there--but I'm not sold she was so much a villain, as a sort of natural disaster caused by her psychotic break mixing with her very profound powers. That's a very different beast from what goes on in MoM.
 

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
Again, I'm not saying she was a hero there--but I'm not sold she was so much a villain, as a sort of natural disaster caused by her psychotic break mixing with her very profound powers. That's a very different beast from what goes on in MoM.

I think that’s one of the difficulties ascribing morality to “Acts of god”-like beings, It’s the same argument that people must see Superman as a Boy Scout otherwise he is a Monster. but When and how do we mere mortals judge when their action become monstrous?

WandaVision was compared to Legion - a reality bending telepath with a disassociative personality Who eventually became the Villain of his show - of course that took 3 seasons not one season and a Semi-connected movie.
 

I think that’s one of the difficulties ascribing morality to “Acts of god”-like beings, It’s the same argument that people must see Superman as a Boy Scout otherwise he is a Monster. but When and how do we mere mortals judge when their action become monstrous?

WandaVision was compared to Legion - a reality bending telepath with a disassociative personality Who eventually became the Villain of his show - of course that took 3 seasons not one season and a Semi-connected movie.

It is difficult question; at what point is one a "villain" if you have limited volition or even comprehension of what you're doing? You're certainly a problem either way, but there's a reason intent is considered an important element in legal matters; if you don't factor intent and understanding into such things, there's no difference between accident and malice.
 
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As to whether or not Wanda dies at the end, I believe it was meant to be ambiguous.
There's a flash of red magic that can be seen before the collapse that could either be her dying or using magic to get away.
 

If it's not an innocent bystander, a villain or a hero, maybe it's a force of nature? Maybe a bit like an avalanche - someone could have triggered it, without any intention to do so, but once it started...
But I suppose forces of nature you can manipulate emotionally is... unusual. She can still adjust the avalance on some level...
 

Well, honestly, that's an intrinsic issue with people with high-end super-powers. I once played a character on an X-Men themed MUX names Windshear; he was a mutant with Alpha level atmospheric manipulation (think Storm but without the other weather related powers, just wind). He was of the opinion that he had more personal power than probably anyone should have had (since he could pretty much flatten a city if motivated and no one intervened fairly quickly to stop him).

Once you have that sort of power on someone, over and above what their ethics are, they aren't any more intrinsically immune to mental breakdowns than anyone else; but the fact they have the ability to do much more harm when in that state doesn't mean they have any more control over it than anyone else either. At some point you either believe mental illness is a thing or you don't, and if you do the moral calculus of it doesn't change just because the consequences with supers can be much, much worse.
 
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Mannahnin

Scion of Murgen (He/Him)
So circiling back to what started this tangent, the argument initially presented was that Wanda was the hero because she beat up the villains.

I feel like I have demonstrated that Wanda is no more heroic in this story than any of the villains. At the end of the day its one villain beating up another, its Thanos vs Ultron if you will. Its basically a turf war.
Absolutely not. She's a hero tragically fallen into a psychotic break, inadvertently hurting others without conscious awareness that that's what she's doing. She's not the hero of this story, and as far as I can see no one in all 270+ posts of this thread has claimed that she is. She's a tragic victim of her trauma, and a threat to innocents without intending to be one. As opposed to Agatha, who actually chooses to hurt others for personal power and just for funsies. And Director Hayward, who desecrated a body and deliberately traumatized Wanda with the sight of that desecration as part of his own pursuit of power. Monica and Jimmy and Darcy and Vision are the heroes of the story.

Wanda starts to step back to her heroine status at the end of the story when she realizes what she's done and tries to undo the harm, even at the cost of her family. That doesn't mean she's entirely redeemed, of course. And then she retreats into isolation to try to learn more about her powers, and the Darkhold does its thing and pushes her back into darkness and into full villain status.

in the real world a mentally unstable kidnapper doesnt get to walk away because they said sorry and let their victims go. They certainly arent called heroic, even moreso when its implied that Wanda is torturing the people in the town and the children she has suspended in their rooms are slowing dying. Also Agatha is the person attempting to help the town, albeit for her own ends but Wanda opposing her certainly isnt a sign of moral decency.
Agatha isn't trying to help the town. Intent matters. She just wants the power. That she winds up shocking Wanda into awareness of what she's doing is ironic; evil containing the seeds of its own destruction.

Wanda gets to walk away, as was discussed in the Wandavision thread, because no one's capable of stopping her. She's an absurdly powerful supernatural being, and unfortunately no one has the ability to MAKE her get therapy, and no one left around knows enough to warn her about the danger of the Darkhold.
 

no one has the ability to MAKE her get therapy, and no one left around knows enough to warn her about the danger of the Darkhold.
In theory that should have been Wong's job (as he did in Ten Rings). And Wanda is justifiably aggrieved that she only hears from the sorcerers when they want something from her.

Really, neither Wong nor Strange have what it takes to be Sorcerer Supreme. Strange is too corruptible, and Wong is just not very competent.
 

Hussar

Legend
She's not committing capital crimes that I'm aware of. Is there a murder spree going on in her sitcom life?

She has an understanding that she's sequestered the town, not that she's torturing people. She doesn't learn that they're subjected to her nightmares until the end. She may ultimately have control, but she has no knowledge of that "worse than death" downside so intent to inflict that torture is absent.
A significant difference between what Agatha is doing and Wanda is doing is the level of knowledge and intent. Wanda intends to keep her sitcom life sequestered from the outside and, yes, that involves keeping people there against their will. But she doesn't know the suffering she's inflicting beyond being unable to leave. She doesn't seem fully cognizant just how much she's controlling people aside from forcing them into her sitcom life. Agatha? She is acting with full intent and premeditation, stirring that pot of crazy Wanda stew.
Well, at a quick glance we have:

Kidnapping,
Torture,
more torture,
torturing children
starving children
more than likely the deaths of more than a few people from neglect or various other effects - did she make sure that Bob over there took his heart medication while she left him comatose and starving to death?

Do people honestly think that Wanda isn't the villain here? That she feels bad about it doesn't make her not the villain. She out and out tortures thousands of people for no reason simply because she wants to feel good.

How is she not 100% the villain here? Sure, the SWORD guys might not have been the heroes, fair enough. But, again, putting a bullet in her brain pain to save thousands of people - and who know how many thousands more she's threatening - is hardly the wrong choice morally. And, hell, shooting Wanda's fake children isn't even murder. They aren't real. They aren't actually people. You can't kill something that's not actually alive.
 

Hussar

Legend
Body autonomy. It's a big deal lately. If Vision or his next of kin gave permission for it, then sure. But they didn't. So no.
Except that Vision is actually not a person, and thus, has no next of kin, nor would his marriage even remotely be recognized in the United States (or any other country for that matter).

This whole argument is predicated on something that has never once been suggested in universe - that Vision was considered legally a person.

It might be icky. We might not like it. But, there is absolutely no suggestion that Vision was considered a person.
 

Hussar

Legend
I'd point out too that villain doesn't mean that you're evil. That terrible storm that wrecks the ships in a man vs nature story is still the villain. That's what a villain is - the thing that drives the plot and is opposed by the protagonist. Maybe if we use Antagonist instead of villain, people would be happier?

But, make no mistake about it, Wanda is pretty much the villain/antagonist here. Again, that she's unaware that she's murdering people doesn't really change anything. I'd point out that she keeps right on murdering people, even after she's aware of it - and it's only right at the tail end of WandaVision when Vision himself makes her face what she's done that she even begins to show the slightest remorse for the torture and murder of thousands of people that she's caused, all for her own personal gain.

Sure, she's a sympathetic villain. Sure, we feel for her and can most definitely sympathize. But, it doesn't change the fact that she is out and out a villain in WandaVision and goes right down the path of evil in MoM.

There's a fantastic quote from Number 5 in Season 3 of Umbrella Academy:

"You Know What They Call A Hero Who Doesn't Listen To Anyone, A Villain"
 
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Hussar

Legend
Funny thing is, in the comics, it's eventually revealed that there is no such thing as "Chaos Magic" and everything Wanda does is actually just from her own powers. Of course, that's after she murders half of the Avengers, but, hey. :D Then we go off on the House of M storyline where she kills lots and lots more people.

The comparison to the Dark Phoenix Saga is pretty on point. It's not so much about being an evil being but rather that having ultimate power like this corrupts. It's repeated with Wanda, and David Haller (the comparison is made in this thread to Legion), the Beyonder (another 80's character), and a host of others. It's a pretty standard theme in a lot of Marvel stuff.

There's a pretty good reason that the Marvel characters are often much, much less powerful than DC characters. DC characters are virtually gods - Superman, The Flash, Wonder Woman. These are characters that are extremely powerful. Generally speaking, anytime a Marvel character gets onto the same level as say, Superman, they become a villain almost every time.
 

How is she not 100% the villain here? Sure, the SWORD guys might not have been the heroes, fair enough. But, again, putting a bullet in her brain pain to save thousands of people - and who know how many thousands more she's threatening - is hardly the wrong choice morally. And, hell, shooting Wanda's fake children isn't even murder. They aren't real. They aren't actually people. You can't kill something that's not actually alive.

Again, because for much of it she wasn't in her right mind. There's a whole lot different a thing between "I deliberately do this thing thought through and have a psychotic break that my powers turn into reality in a way that harms a lot of other people".

And again, your last sentence--was the Vision every alive? He was a construct too. I think the answer was "yes" and I think in practice it was true of the magically created Vision and children, too. They were obviously to self-volitional for me to assume otherwise, though people can play games of them being just Wanda's subconscious in action, but I don't buy it.
 

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